Is 9mm OK in a 1911-style pistol?


September 25, 2009, 11:38 AM
Been reading as much as I can, and I'm considering a 9mm in a 1911-style pistol.

I see that Springfield is offering a full size 1911 9mm as well as some of the higher end (read: more expensive) makers.

Anything negative about the 9mm caliber in a 1911-style frame?:confused:

Cycling or reliability problems?

I'm not asking about the effectiveness of one caliber or another in a SD situation, just about the mechanics and design.

I have my own reasons for considering the 9mm caliber itself, just wondering if there are any drawbacks I should know about before I lay down the money it's going to take to own one.


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Hk Dan
September 25, 2009, 11:45 AM
I have that very gun, and it's fine. I'm no fan of the 1911, and I don't shoot it a lot, but the times that I have, it's been reliable with 115 grain RNs. It's not exactly match grade accurate, but it's not bad--certainly up with any other brand name out of the box.


September 25, 2009, 11:52 AM
The only drawback is the 9mm is 1.169" long, and the .45 ACP the gun was designed for is 1.275" long.

That means some monkey motion in the magazines that has to be addressed by internal ribs or other means to make up for the excess room.

9mm 1911 mags are many and varied over the years.
Some designs work great, and other designs not so great.

The Rob Leathem designed Springfield 9mm mag is so far probably the best one going. It has a small feed ramp lip built in that greatly improves functioning.


September 25, 2009, 11:52 AM

Ken Rainey
September 25, 2009, 01:35 PM
There's a nice Kimber stainless 9mm on GlockTalk for sale by rjp59 in Austin Tx. I have one just like it and would buy this one if I had the money.


September 25, 2009, 01:57 PM
I have a $3k 9mm 1911 - I LOVE it!

September 25, 2009, 01:59 PM
If you hand load, you can probably load them a little longer (if the throat allows it). More room for powder :evil:

September 25, 2009, 02:22 PM
i have a Springfield Loaded 9mm. i shoot it more than any other gun by far. I use it for IDPA/Steel and after a malfunction or 2 early (which as i can tell was ammo problem) its been flawless

September 25, 2009, 02:27 PM
9mm in a 1911-style pistol?

Star's Model B has been well liked for years - but it's designed for the 9mm from the ground up.

Good magazines will also help, and there's also the EMP.

And don't forget, the Colt Commander was ORIGINALLY designed around the 9mm to compete in the 1950's trials for a new 9mm pistol.

September 25, 2009, 03:10 PM
Not exactly "designed around" the 9mm.
"Modified from" a .45 ACP is more like it.

The Commander also suffers from a .45 ACP length action and magazine with the shorter cartridge it was never intended for.


September 25, 2009, 03:14 PM
A 5" 1911 chambered in 9mm is a true joy. I have several, and shoot them predominantly. I use the Leatham magazines and they work well. My range Springfield Loaded 9mm has well over 4K rounds since I bought it, and has only had two early failures (FTEs, corrected by fitting a proper firing pin retainer and stopping the extractor from clocking).

I have also bought a 5" Kimber Aegis, and it's absolutely sublime.

September 25, 2009, 03:28 PM
Big fan of the 1911 and nothing wrong with the 9mm
Great fit in the hand and a round that is still somewhat affordable.
Would be a fine choice !!

September 25, 2009, 04:49 PM
My experience has really only been with the EMP. In that particular 1911 I can attest it is great.

September 25, 2009, 05:02 PM
Three 1911s that I'm familiar with are the Springfield EMP, the Kimber Aegis series and STI Trojan 9mm . These are all reliable 9mm.versions of the 1911 and the manufacturers have pretty much perfected them to fire the 9mm. even though 1911s were built on 45ACP. cartridge in length and frame sized to fire it. The only drawback is the price of these three, though they are all good pistols.

September 25, 2009, 06:00 PM
Yep, looks like around $1000 is what it's gonna take.

September 25, 2009, 06:25 PM
I have a $3k 9mm 1911 - I LOVE it!



That is a beautiful 9mm 1911, along with, such a great platform..

I have both, a Sig P229R CT 9mm and an SA EMP 1911 SAO 9mm, and both are very accurate as used for HD/SD but the other day, at the range, my range bud let me shoot his newly acquired LNIB SAO Sig P226 X-Five Competition 9mm.. :what:

Now, that is An_Accurate gun, that I have ever shot, as 4 of my shots went thru the same hole, the other 4 were right next to those, within 1/2 inch, and 2 were floaters, out from all those, by 1".. (my bad, via trigger jerk) as the SAO trigger was just so nice, like "thinking" and the shot was OTW !

It's all about platform/barrel/trigger/with strong/balanced/weight/and shooter input.

Ya get what ya pay for, of that, I have little doubt..

September 25, 2009, 06:34 PM
Is 9mm OK in a 1911-style pistol?

Sure, if you want a 1911 set on "stun".


Steve C
September 25, 2009, 06:42 PM
There's some advantage of using the 9mm in the full size 1911 syle pistol and that it recoils less than the .45 acp. In the latest American Rifleman the results from the Bianchi cup with the winners listed with their pistols for the various categories and it was interesting that most every winner was shooting some brand of 1911 but no one was shooting it in .45 acp. They where using 9mm and .38 super. BTW there was one winning division shooter using a Glock.

September 25, 2009, 06:51 PM
I plan on getting one of the Taurus 1911 9mm when I can find one, have these even hit the market yet in 9mm? Can't find them online, so I doubt they are around yet.



September 25, 2009, 08:10 PM
I was once enamored with the idea of the 9mm 1911 as well. I figured why get a 1911? Quit messing around and get the Hi Power. It is designed around the 9mm. I think it is inherently more reliable with hollow points. Non removable barrel bushing is nice. It fits my hand better with the right grips. The balance of the HP is better for me than the 5" 1911 but about the same with the Commander.

I went hunting for a 9mm 1911. My search only allowed me to get a Commander length gun though so my options immediately were limited. I like Commanders better that is the only reason and I want to get what I want. The Hi Power was about the same dinensions as the Commander so I just went with the Hi Power.

September 25, 2009, 09:36 PM
These threads come up a lot... And, I find it iss amazing how the anti 9mm 1911 guys complain about it not being the original caliber, but then many of them lust after a 10mm 1911.

I like the 9mm 1911. Less recoil means I can shoot for a longer session. And, ammo is cheaper too. Why can't someone like 9mm, and then have it in the 1911 platform?

Boba Fett
September 25, 2009, 09:45 PM
+1 for STI pistols.

My dad got a 1911 style 9mm from STI (the Escort) put the CrimsonTrace grips on it and it is a thing of beauty.

There are several STI firearms on my "to get someday" list. The slides on their 1911s are like taking a stick of butter and rubbing it on super-heated Teflon...very smooth.

And they're a Texas company, so...supporting the Texas firearms industry is always a big plus!

September 25, 2009, 10:53 PM
I too have been interested in finding a 1911 frame 9mm. I already have a Beretta 9mm and it could be convenient and less expensive to shoot. The Springfield 1911 9mm looks very good.

Unfortunately, 1911 frame 9mm's seem rare and more expensive. For some reason, I happen to shoot a .45 1911 well and so am very interested in that 9mm...but since I cannot seem to find a reasonably priced one (or find one at all)....I am now thinking of just going ahead and getting a regular .45 1911. There are many to chose from and many can be had for not a lot of money.

.45 seems to be about $5/50 more than 9mm. The kick and bang are about the same as 9mm. So....I am thinking....why not just go .45?

September 25, 2009, 11:27 PM
For some reason, I happen to shoot a .45 1911 well and so am very interested in that 9mm...


Low bore axis.
Natural grip angle.
Light consistent trigger.
Comfortable fit of grip.

(Need I go on?)

Boba Fett
September 25, 2009, 11:41 PM
Low bore axis.
Natural grip angle.
Light consistent trigger.
Comfortable fit of grip.

(Need I go on?)

Only if you put it to music ;)

This does bring up an interesting thought: does anyone know of a 1911 with barrels for different calibers? It would be nice to have a 1911 that I could switch back and forth with.

I know they have 22lr, but I'm thinking more along the lines of a Sig P250...

September 26, 2009, 01:47 AM
Star B's can be problematic with jhp or short oal lengths. I believe the B was designed around the 9mm Largo mod A. Remember, it is similar to the .38super round. And the .38super is the same length as a .45acp round.

.38super is usually found in it's natural home of 1911 handguns or at least guns that are generally designed around and available in .45acp such as Taurus PT945/PT38s and Sig Sauer P220. Which also comes in 9mm para of course to addd to the confusion!

For that matter is .40S&W any good in the 1911 platform? Feeds ok? Mags good?

The Wiry Irishman
September 26, 2009, 02:41 AM
This does bring up an interesting thought: does anyone know of a 1911 with barrels for different calibers?

SVI slides have interchangeable breech faces, so for a new caliber, you just swap out the breech face, the barrel, and the mags, and you're good to go. Expensive, though.

September 26, 2009, 08:34 AM
I have a .38 Super that can be easily converted to 9mm with just a barrel and mag swap. .38 Super has been much more reliable for me in 1911's than 9mm or .45acp (heresy, I know).

For handloading, the Super is the bee's knees.

For factory fodder, 9mm rules.

September 26, 2009, 08:35 AM
SVI slides have interchangeable breech faces,

That's a new one on me.

September 26, 2009, 08:43 AM
The best money that I ever spent was on an STI Trojan in 9mm. I bought it from Dawson Precision and had them do their tuning job on the gun and some mags.

Loaded with 147gr. XTPs it is more accurate than I can hold it in a vise.

By the way, 1911s in 9mm have been showing up in the winner's circle at Camp Perry for many years.

If you want a gun that will kill zombies, yetis and charging rhinos like lightning strikes, get a 9X23 barrel for your 9mm 1911. That round leaves .40 or .45 in the dust.

September 26, 2009, 09:09 AM
I went through this search about a year or so ago. Did not know Dan Wesson makes a few 9mm each year and would have considered it. Looked at Springfield and STI and was about ready to get the STI when I called John at Proload.

I asked him if Les Baer ever put out a full sized 1911 in 9mm and he told me he was looking right at a brand new PII in 9mm. I already had a PII in .45 and loved it. Price was right around $1,860 delivered, so I bought it.

Had a bunch of ftf/fte problems out of the box. Local gun smith diagnosed a poorly tuned extractor, fixed it and the gun is flawless. I've shot the heck out of it. great gun. Added a fiber optic front sight and had it IonBonded last winter. Also put on Esmeralda slim grips.

September 27, 2009, 12:09 PM
Got a Colt Government Model Series 70 in 9mm and love it. 1911s and 9mm go together like chocolate and milk.

Zach S
September 27, 2009, 03:10 PM
These threads come up a lot... And, I find it iss amazing how the anti 9mm 1911 guys complain about it not being the original caliber, but then many of them lust after a 10mm 1911.
I've only seen a couple of those comments, and I LOLed at the "stun" comment.

The other comment had to do with 9mm's shorter OAL, which isnt an issue for the 10mm.

September 28, 2009, 03:53 AM
A friend of mine owns and carrys a Springfield EMP and LOVES it. A big thing for her is that the EMP was designed around the 9mm rather than just a .45 that was tossed in the dryer to fit 9mm.

September 28, 2009, 05:26 AM
Dan Wesson pointman 9
Kimber Aegis 9mm
Springfield EMP 9mm
STI 9mm
Para carry in 9mm

All 1911's all excellent quality!

I'd like an EMP in .40, please....................anyone.


September 28, 2009, 09:32 PM
i like my 9's

September 29, 2009, 08:59 PM
I've got a Springfield Ultra Compact in 9mm that runs like a champ with just about anything I run in it. I was having problems with one of the mags that came with it, but it looks like it is running good again. I'll know for sure on the next range trip.

September 30, 2009, 04:57 AM

September 30, 2009, 08:55 PM
I like my Colt Combat Commander 9mm.

She's a little more beat up after carrying off & on the last 3 years. 100% reliable with proper ammunition and magazines.

September 30, 2009, 09:03 PM
Wags, I want one.

October 1, 2009, 12:05 AM
I have an EMP and ordered a DW Pointman 9 a few days ago, which I expect to receive in about a week. It was a toss up between the PM9 and STI Trojan. My DW CBOB has been great, so I decided to stay with the DW given that few PM9's are manufactured each year and one was currently available.

October 1, 2009, 06:23 AM
I've a few 1911's in 9mm, all great guns and have all been very reliable, including the Springfield Loaded Stainless 9mm.

I like the .38 Super in 1911's better though, the Trojan in that last pic is a .38 Super.

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